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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

MEK is a key modulator for TLR5- induced interleukin-8 and MIP3alpha gene expression in non-transformed human colonic epithelial cells.

Flagellin, a specific ligand for Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), is a molecular pattern associated with several bacterial species. Recently, TLR signaling has been intensively studied. However, TLR5-associated signaling in non-transformed colonocytes has not been investigated. Here we studied the expression of cytokines induced by flagellin in non-transformed human colonic NCM460 cells and the signaling mechanisms mediating these responses. Cytokine expression array experiments showed that exposure of the cells to flagellin (100 ng/ml) for 12 h increased the expression of interleukin (IL)-8 and macrophage-inflammatory protein 3alpha (MIP3alpha) in a TLR5-specific manner. Flagellin also activated MAP kinases (ERK1/2, JNK, and p38) and degraded IkappaBalpha. Dominant negative MEK1 (a kinase that activates ERK1/2) blocked flagellin-stimulated IL-8 and MIP3alpha transcriptional activity, while the MEK-specific inhibitors PD98059 and U0126 reduced protein production of these cytokines. Conversely, transfection with a constitutively active MEK1 increased IL-8 and MIP3alpha transcriptional activity in a NFkappaB-independent manner. Furthermore, overexpression of the constitutively active MEK1 induced IL-8 and MIP3alpha protein production. We also demonstrated that C-terminal coiled-coil and TRAF-C domains of TRAF6, unable to mediate NFkappaB activation, are involved in MEK- mediated IL-8 and MIP3alpha expression. Thus, in non-transformed human colonocytes, MEK activation following flagellin/TLR5 engagement is a key modulator for NFkappaB-independent, IL-8 and MIP3alpha expression.[1]


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